Mid Term Review of the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN)


ESSPIN is a complex, ambitious, high risk, basic education programme. With a UK-DFID investment of £83.5 million between 2008 and 2014, its success will be judged on its ability to make significant inroads in to Nigeria’s education access, equity and quality deficits in a highly dysfunctional and politicised basic education system. Nearly three years into the programme, ESSPIN has spent £32 million. Most of this investment has been directed to work in the six States of Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara and Lagos. Its intention has been to demonstrate an integrated approach to improving Nigeria’s public, primary and junior secondary schools, including the introduction of new ways of planning, budgeting, monitoring and managing basic education services, at all levels, in State education systems. The Mid-Term Review (MTR) finds that ESSPIN has been effective in establishing a platform for basic education reform in six Nigerian States but not to any great degree at the Federal level. Its pilot work in approximately 1000 schools and communities, and their associated LGEAs, is conceptually sound. It is resulting in some early teaching and learning benefits. Its work with State Ministries and SUBEBs is leading to better practice in the use of data for policy and planning, in the development of Medium-Term Sector Strategies (in which ESSPIN has been a pioneer), and in engaging with non-State partners. While technical platforms have been built, necessary political engagement strategies have been uneven. Roll out and replication strategy is still at an early stage of development. So too is investment in public service delivery activities. ESSPIN needs its own costed, Medium-Term Development Strategy for 2011-2014 without delay. This work requires redefinition of Programme logic and design to demonstrate that beyond its valuable work in 1000 pilot schools and its systems reform work in six States, ESSPIN can and will have impact on a scale commensurate with Nigeria’s basic education needs within the next three years.